In my little corner of the world, summer is almost upon us. It's a season that stirs sweet memories for me ... sleeping bags in the backyard while watching for shooting stars ... catching fireflies in a jar ... listening for the ice cream truck. It also stirs memories of one particular lakeside cabin in the summer of '88.
We had packed a few duffel bags and our three little kittens (er, kiddos) into the station wagon for a few days away. In the photo above, I'm behind the camera performing a feat only another mother could ever hope to accomplish.
While one eye was focused on this idyllic scene, the other was keeping watch on a very-active toddler. All afternoon, he'd been fascinated with the three stone steps at the end of the cabin's deck. And try as I might, there was no deterring his desire to conquer them!
So I was close by with band aids for boo-boos ... and a long-arm reach. I'm quite sure he was thinking, Why go down backwards on hands and knees when you can stand up and fall face forward?
Thankfully, hubby closed his tackle box for the evening soon after the camera clicked. Three hungry "fishers" came back to the deck where we grilled hot dogs for a summer-time cookout.
When five tummies were full, we settled on the front porch to watch the sun slip into the water. Not long after that, the Lord dropped a curtain of black around us just before the silver stars punched through. That's when the children began to yawn and snuggle down into their sleeping bags.
Something about summertime at a lakeside cabin unwinds the kinks in your shoulders and psyche. It also puts a lot of things in perspective ... like how small we are compared to the vast creation surrounding us ... or how unimportant the hubbub of daily life really seems when you're sitting under the stars ... and how a loud chorus of katydids, crickets and tree frogs stirs a symphony within one's soul.
A movement at the end of the porch caught my eye just then, and I tapped hubby's arm. He'd seen it too -- a doe and her fawn heading out of the woods and down to the water. The older two children followed whispered instructions to lie very quietly. It was one of those sweet summer surprises.
"Little Bit" had a pacifier in his mouth and was drifting off to lullabye-land, unaware of the drama unfolding just a few feet away. Thanks to the insects' symphony, Bambi never heard us whispering -- or suspected we watched as he followed Mother Doe to the lake.
Phillip and I are talking about renting a lakeside cabin again. Maybe we will even return to the very same cabin and stir up some precious memories. Our children are grown and gone, which means there will be less to pack and fewer hot dogs to grill. There will be plenty of time to read and relax and snap idyllic scenes with my digital camera -- and no need to keep one eye on those stone steps.
I'm quite certain my mommy heart will reminisce and feel a little melancholy. Thankfully, the overwhelming quiet will be drowned out by katydids and crickets in the evenings. And I'm quite that once the sun slips into the water, the Lord will drop another black curtain over the lake just before the silver stars show up.
That's when I'll look up into the glorious heavens and sigh with contentment. We've still got three children and two more who've married into the family. We've also got a new grandson and another baby boy due in September to our son and his wife.
Who knows? One of these days we may have the grandchildren with us on a trip to the lake ... and I'll be keeping one eye on those stone steps again. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy this stage of life with my hubby. More summer surprises are bound to be just around the corner!